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Lion. 'Tis I, and only I, am to blame: the father's security had its effect upon me, and drew me on to indulge the tender ingenuousness of the daughter; my own imagination went astray, while I ought to have exerted myself to restrain yours. But here, madam, I give you back your declarations : keep them for some happier man, who may receive them without wounding his honour, or his peace.
Clar. Is it come to this?
Jen. [Entering — Aside.] I can wait no longer, but must run to my master, and tell him the words of this honourable young man.
[Exit. Clar. Do not speak to me.
Lion. Oh! my Clarissa, my heart is broken; but while I am hateful to myself for having yielded to my growing passion, let me pray for your health and prosperity.
Clar. Can you forsake me? -Have I then given my affections to a man who rejects and disregards them ?Let me throw myself at my father's feet: he is generous and compassionate-He knows your worth
Lion. Mention it not; were you stript of fortune, re. duced to the meanest station, and I monarch of the globe, I should glory in raising you to universal empire; but as it is
Clar. Yet hear me
Fast dropping on my heart they fall :
The memory of past scenes recall.
. On a wild sea of passion tost,
I split upon the fatal shelf;
And now I fear to lose myself.
[Exit. . Enter JENNY. Jen. O madam! I have betrayed you. I have gone and said something I should not have said, to my uncle Jenkins; and, as sure as day, he has gone and told it all to Sir John. Clar. My father!
Enter Sir John FLOWERDALE, and Jenkins. Sir John. Go, Jenkins, and desire that young gentle. man to come back [Exit 1.]Stay, where you are But what have I done to my child? How have I deserved that you should treat me like an enemy? Has there been any undesigned rigour in my conduct, or terror in my looks?
Enter JENKINS and LIONEL.
Sir John. Come in- When I tell you that I am in: structed in all your proceedings, you will, perhaps, imagine what my thoughts are of you, and the measures which justice prescribes me to follow..
Lion. Sir, I will say nothing in my own defence; but submit without a murmur to your judgment. . .
Sir John. As for you, Clarissa, since your earliest in. fancy, you have known no parent but me; I have been to you, at once, both father and mother; and that I might the better fulfil those united duties, though left a widower in the prime of my days, I would never enter into a second marriage. I loved you for your likeness to your dear mother; but that mother repaid my affection by an open confidence and there the likeness fails-Clarissa, you should have trusted me.
Jen. O, my dear sweet lady ! in
Sir John. As for you, Mr. Lionel, what terms can I find strong enough to paint the excess of my friendship! - I loved, I esteemed, I honoured your father: he was a brave, a generous, and a sincere man; I thought you inherited his good qualities--you were left an orphan, I adopted you, put you upon the footing of my own son; educated you like a gentleman, and designed you for a profession, to which, I thought, your virtues would have been an ornament
Jen. Dear me, dear me!
Sir John. What return you have made me, you must be acquainted with yourself : and, therefore, I shall not repeat it-Yet, remember, in addition to the rest, that the last mark of my bounty was conferred upon you in the very time when you were looking to my daughter whom I was bestowing elsewhere. Now, Sir, I have but one thing more to say to you—Take that daughter: were she worth a million, she is at your service.
Lion. To me, Sir !--your daughter!- do you give her to me?— Without fortune—without friends ! --without
Sir John. You have them all in your own heart; he whom virtue raises, fortune cannot abase.
Clar. O, Sir, let me on my knees kiss that dear hand -acknowledge my error, and entreat forgiveness and blessing.
Sir John. If you have erred at all, my dear daughter, it can be only in not having laid open your heart to your father. If there be any thing for me to forgive, I forgive it. In your turn forgive the little trial I have been making of you both; for I am happier in the son-in-law you have given me, than if you had married a prince
Lion. My patron--my friend-my father I would fain say something; but, as your goodness exceeds the bounds
Sir John. I think I hear a coach drive into the courtit is Colonel Oldboy's family; I will go and receive them. Do not make yourself uneasy at this; we must endeavour to pacify them as well as we can. My dear Lionel, if I have made you happy, you have made me so. Heaven bless you, my children, and make you deserving of one another.
[Exeunt Sir John und Jenkins. Jen. O, dear madam, upon my knees I humbly beg your forgiveness-Dear Mr. Lionel, forgiveme- I did not design to discover it, indeed and you won't turn me off, madam, will you? I'll serve you for nothing.
Clar. Get up my good Jenny; I freely forgive you, if there is any thing to be forgiven. I know you love me; and, I am sure, here is one who will join with me in rewarding your services.
My love, my Clarissa, what words shall I find!
He blest us, and peace is restor’d to my mind. Clar. He blest us! O rapture! Like one I recover Whom death had appall’d, without hope,
(without aid; A moment depriv'd me of father and lover,
A moment restores, und my pangs are repaid. Lion. Forsaken, abandon’d, Clar.
What folly ! what blindness! Lion. We thought all was lost, Clar.
and we felt our hearts bleed: Both. Pain oft is inflicted by Heaven, out of kindness,
To heighten the joys that we find to succeed. Our day was o'ercast;
But brighter the scene is,
The sky more serene is,
SCENE III. Another Apartment in Sir John Flowers
dale's House, Enter Lady Mary OLDBOY, leaning on a Servant,
JESSAMY leading her. Lady M. 'Tis all in vain, my dear--set me down any where; I can't go a step further. I knew, when Mr. Oldboy insisted upon my coming, that I should be seized with a meagrim by the way; and it's well I did not die in the coach.
Jes. But, pr'ythee, why will you let yourself be af. fected with such trifles-Nothing more common than for young women of fashion to go off with low fellows.
Lady M. Only feel, my dear, how I tremble! Not a nerve but what is in agitation; and my blood runs cold, cold!
11I. Jes. Well, but, Lady Mary, don't let us expose ourselves to those people; I see there is not one of the rascals about us, that has not a grin upon his countenance.
Lady M. Expose ourselves! my dear? Your father will be as ridiculous as Hudibras, or Don Quixotte.
Jes. Yes, he will be very ridiculous indeed.
Sir John. I give you my word, my good friend and neighbour, the joy I feel on this occasion is greatly allayed by the disappointment of an alliance with your family ; but I have explained to you how things have happened You see my situation; and, as you are kind enough to consider it yourself, I hope you will excuse it to your son.
Lady M. Sir John Flowerdale, how do you do? You see we have obeyed your summons; and I have the pleasure to assure you, that my son yielded to my entreaties with very little disagreement: in short, if I may speak metaphorically, he is content to stand candidate again notwithstanding his late repulse, when he hopes for an unanimous election.
Col. Well, but my Lady, you may save your rhetoric; for the borough is disposed of to a worthier member. Jes. What do you say, Sir?
Enter Lionel and Clarissa. .
Sir John. Believe me, madam, it is not for the want of a just sense of Mr. Jessamy's merit, that this affair has gone off on my side; but the heart is a delicate thing; and after it has once felt, if the object is meritorious, the impression is not easily effaced- It would, therefore, have been an injury to him, to have given him in appearance, what another in reality possessed. · Jes. Sir John, I am not in the least offended at this contre-temps.- Pray, Lady Mary, say no more about it.
Col. Tol, lol, lol, lol.
Sir John. But, my dear Colonel, I am afraid, after all, this affair is taken amiss by you; yes, I see you are